Complex : Homeland” – from 16.3. in Hoyerswerda and soon at your home?

“We Saxons, we are bright, the whole world knows that! And if we are not bright, then we have pretended”, so says an old Saxon proverb. Where does the still widespread idea come from that the Saxons are different or even better? Why does it need that? What does it mean for coexistence if we repeatedly distinguish ourselves from “the others”? Who is involved in the construction of Saxon identities?

On the way to a forest fire site at the Großer Winterberg in Saxon Switzerland.

With these questions and his large-format camera in his luggage, Frieder has set out again and again. After thorough research, with a steady gaze from his tripod, he has photographically captured very different places, scenes and events in Saxony on large analog prints. Places where something has happened or is still happening. Something that is and can become part of “Saxon” identity for many.

Battle of the Nations near Leipzig, Markkleeberg 2021

Much of it concerns the remembrance of history, as with the mourning wreaths for the prisoners of war of the Wehrmacht in Zeithain or the reconstructed Frauenkirche in Dresden. In addition to such rather “silent” gestures and places, there are also rituals such as an Easter procession of the Sorbs or even a multi-day reenactment of the Battle of the Nations near Leipzig.

We are citizens, Chemnitz 2018

Through the compilation of these identity-creating acts, the question inevitably arises as to who is acting here and with what unconscious or conscious intent. That no form of remembrance is neutral is perhaps most evident in the image of flowers and funeral offerings for the victim of a stabbing in Chemnitz in September 2018. Within a few days, there was a massive xenophobic mobilization with hate mobs, Germany-wide political discussions, and the large concert as counter event depicted in another photo. The hashtag #wirsindmehr used for this already points to the fact that this is also a struggle for identity. Another picture shows an empty meadow on Frühlingsstraße in Zwickau – the place where Beate Zschäpe blew up her apartment building. The photo raises the question of how a city can live with and integrate into its local identity the fact that for years a terrorist group was able to hide here. This question has also become a point of reference in its own way for the anti-fascist movement from Saxony.

Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow?, Zwickau 2021

In addition to these politically charged events, however, Frieder also shows nature. In one picture, for example, we see a forest in Saxon Switzerland – an identity-forming destination for many in Saxony. Only at second glance does it become apparent that a forest fire has raged here, which fortunately could be extinguished before the very big catastrophe. In the end, the exhibition also suggests that the many upheavals should not only be perceived as a threat to “Saxon identity”. A photograph from Hoyerswerda shows flamingos in the zoo just behind the castle. They seem to feel at home here – even though hardly anyone would say that they belong to Saxony. They are simply here.

Flamingos, Hoyerswerda 2021

The project can now for the first time be seen publicly in an exhibition – from March 17 to April 17 during regular opening hours at the Hoyerswerda Castle and City Museum. We cordially invite you to the vernissage on March 16 at 7!

Sparrow’s Nest, Hirschsprung 2021

We have had Frieder’s large-format images printed analog by hand in an edition of 2 +1 AP each in the format 80×100 cm. You can see all motifs on our website. If you like one of the pictures very much, we would be very happy if you would buy it! By doing so, you help us to cover the costs of the exhibition completely and, most importantly, you make it possible for Frieder to continue working on the project, which will later be published as a book. The production of the exhibition was partly supported by the Kulturstiftung des Freistaats Sachsen and as an award winner at the simul+ Mitmachfonds.

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